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CALABASH, NC (WWAY) — An icon of Calabash seafood is no more. A fire destroyed Beck’s restaurant last night leaving locals to wonder what’s next.

Calabash is known as the center of the fried seafood world, and some say Beck’s is the capitol building. But that all changed last night when a fire ripped through the building last night.

Since 1940 Beck’s has been more than a restaurant to many in Calabash. It has been a home.

“It has touched this whole entire community and the Town of Calabash, and I know that I will get through this, and it’s just so hard,” customer Mark Barno said.

Keith Hardee’s family has owned the iconic restaurant for 69 of the 72 years it has been open. He says seeing the flames shocked him.

“Everywhere there was a truck trying to get their hoses out, and the top of it up there, fire was trying to come through the top,” Hardee said. “It was just a hurting thing to see that you worked for go down in ashes. It’s tough to take.”

Hardee is determined not to let an unfortunate event like this get him or his patrons down. He a quick return.

“Oh yeah. Definitely, yes. It will be back,” Hardee said. “In fact, the contractor is out here now. I’m thinking we might leave it as is right there and go ahead and build it back as it was.”

Investigators still don’t know what started the fire, but they say it does appear to have been electrical.

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